Civilization in Free-Fall

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 03 May 2007 13:19:47 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Butler Shaffer at - Sony's on-air depatitation of a goat as a metaphor for society's worship of violence as the way to get things done. Sad. [lew]

The state in its other varied expressions manifests this same hostility to life. All political systems are defined by their use of violence -- whether actual or threatened -- to compel people to do what they do not otherwise choose to do. Life is a spontaneous, self-directed process; and to forcibly intervene in human action is to make life become or do what it does not choose to be or do. Because uncoerced people will always act for the purpose of achieving their desired outcomes, governmental action will, of necessity, produce lesser degrees of well-being.

And why does the state engage in such life-depleting behavior? Part of the explanation lies in the fact that there will always be some segment of humanity that enjoys the exercise of coercive power over others. As H.L. Mencken observed: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it."


Once we learn to look outside ourselves for meaning and direction in our lives, we set ourselves up to be exploited for whatever purposes our "authorities" have in mind for us. Having given up our own centeredness -- our own integrity -- we become as balls in a pin-ball machine, capable of being moved about by forces over which we have no control. Our conduct becomes guided by those who control the levers with which we come into contact. Over time, the logic of the machine defines our mindset and, like Pavlov's dogs, we learn to slobber on cue and press the levers that deliver our prearranged rewards.

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